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1. AMD Demonstrates Twelve-Core Microprocessors 

It has been a long time since the world saw a breakthrough from Advanced Micro Devices, but it looks like AMD did a breakthrough in late April by demonstrating its code-named Magny-Cours central processing unit with twelve cores. Needless to say that this sensation attracted more readers than any other story published this year.

AMD Opteron 6000-series "Magny-Cours" with twelve processing engines will be released in the first quarter of 2010, according to some reports. However, already now AMD can demonstrate the chip to public and customers to show off its benefits compared to competing platforms and technologies.    


Twelve-core AMD Opteron processor

AMD Magny-Cours processor will be the first chip for the AMD G34 “Maranello” platform designed for Opteron processors 6000-series with up to 16 cores, quad-channel memory interface, 2 or 4 sockets, up to 12 memory modules per socket and some server and enterprise-specific functionality. Thanks to multi-chip-module nature of the code-named Magny-Cours processor, creation of such chip was a relatively easy challenge. It should be noted that AMD G34 will the company’s first own server platform in seven years after the launch of AMD 8000 platform in 2003.

The demonstration of Maranello prototype as well as twelve-core processors is indisputably a notable even for AMD. The company has had bad luck with its quad-core processors in many ways and the showing of the next-generation platform about six to nine months before its release should inspire optimism both among server makers as well as investors. In addition, AMD promises to deliver its first high-end server code-named Interlagos chips based on Bulldozer architecture with up to 16 cores in 2011.

AMD’s twelve-core Opteron “Magny-Cours” will compete against Intel’s eight-core Xeon MP “Nehalem-EX”. The battle between the two leading designers of microprocessors in the very high-end space promises to be rather exciting. With the introduction of QuickPath interconnect by Intel, AMD’s platforms no longer have the advantage of superior performance scalability, meanwhile, Intel’s next-generation multi-processor platform supports up to 16 memory modules per socket, up to eight sockets per system as well as various high-end RAS features. Still, AMD will have more processing engines, and, provided that it can ensure high enough clock-speeds, potentially greater performance in case of four socket servers.

 
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